Audi e-tron Electric Sports Car Takes On Tesla

Tesla Killer
Audi e-tron GT
(Photo: Audi)

The "Audi e-tron GT," the fabled German luxury carmaker's first electric sports car, has been co-developed in close cooperation with Porsche in a Teutonic partnership meant to topple Tesla, Inc on its own soil.

The concept e-tron GT formally unveiled last week at the LA Auto Show in California surprised with its performance (80 percent charge in just 20 minutes, for example), as did the car's "vegan interior" totally devoid of leather.

Audi isn't shy to admit the e-tron's reason for being is to wrest electronic car sales from Tesla. Its electric sportscar will arrive in showrooms in 2021.

Audi has two electric cars in production. One is the e-tron SUV, which gets to market next spring while the other is the e-tron Sportback, due to following later in 2019. These three fantastic vehicles are meant to outrace Tesla's Model S,X and 3 where it counts the most: units sold and revenues generated.

Unlike its two siblings, the e-tron GT was developed in close collaboration with Porsche. One can glean outlines of the Porsche Taycan/Mission E in e-tron's overall shape.

The e-tron GT is part of a coordinated Audi campaign to get 12 all-electric cars into production by 2025. These new EVs will cover "every relevant market segment from the compact to the full-size class."

The concept e-tron has outstanding specs. It's powered by a 590 horsepower AWD electric powertrain that can hurl it to a range of 400 km. It comes equipped with a separate "permanently excited synchronous" motors for the front and rear axles.

Its 590 horsepower can send the car from the 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.5 seconds. The car's speed tops out at a regulated 240 km/h, enough to label this sportscar a supercar in performance.

This machine's sophisticated cooling strategy allows drivers to keep their pedals to the metal far longer, enabling the average driver to stay as "permanently excited" as he zooms along a highway.

Its fast charging ability allows the battery to charge to 80 percent in only 20 minutes. That stored power will get you out to 320 km. The battery capacity is a huge 90 kWh

The battery pack is located low under the floor between the axles. This position keeps the GT's center of gravity as low as the R8's for sharp, agile handling. The four-wheel steering enhances corner carving and high-speed stability.

Regenerative braking also contributes to the 320 km range since the transition from regenerative braking to hydraulic braking is seamless.

The interior is completely devoid of leather, which might seem odd for a luxury sports car that should retail at some $80,000. Most of the upholstery uses recycled fabrics, with bits of synthetic leather and microfiber here and there. The floor carpet is made from recycled fishing nets. 

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